Home / Bear Tracks Newsletter / September 2017 | Volume 6, Issue 2


Meet Our Director of Instruction

Barb Westermann Hello All, and welcome to the 2017-18 school year! My name is Barb Westermann, and I’m the Director of Instruction for Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School. We are so excited to begin another new School year, and so proud of what our s students are already accomplishing. This is my chance to introduce myself and share my hopes for this school year. This is my 20th year in education! I’m a school counselor by training, graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Masters in Counseling and Educational Psychology. I worked for 16 years as an elementary counselor, and the last five in several positions including Student Services Coordinator and Grants Manager for CSUSA Donnan. Before these jobs I was also a counselor/ therapist at a therapeutic group home, Director of an Adolescent Substance Abuse Day Treatment Program, pizza maker, nurses’ assistant and, briefly, telephone solicitor. My commitment this year is to do all I can in creating and supporting a safe and productive environment for our students and staff. We are privileged to be working with your students, and take that opportunity very seriously. Please let us know if there is anything that you need from us! We look forward to working with you to provide your students with the best education possible!

Interactive Learning

It is so important to us at Emma Donnan to keep our students engaged. Our teachers do their best to find fun ways for our students to learn and absorb information. Some of those include the use of technology, our outdoor classroom facilities, our outdoor garden and so much more!

Southside Indy Information

Mrs DouglasHello Donnan Families, my goal as your Family Engagement Representative is not only to make sure that you receive great communication from the school , but to also make sure that you know what is going on in the community around you, and the many resources available for families! Below I have included some information that may be helpful to you!

  • Trades Career Fair for October 21st from 10 am to 1 pm; adults and students to trades programs Location: TBD (possibly Emmerich Manual) Sponsored by SoIndy
  • Movie Night on September 8th – 5PM @Emma Donnan
  • Cookies and Crafting for a Cause September 8th at 1 pm making turbans for patients in chemo, also knitting red hats for babies born with heart defects
  • Spanish language computer classes; Every Wednesday evening in September and October at the Garfield Public Library native Spanish speaker will be running the class- students learn basic Microsoft Word, internet, etc; runs 6 to 8 weeks. 2502 Shelby St. 317-275-4490 
  • Southeast Community Services provides GED classes, job coaching, financial counseling 901 Shelby St. for more information contact Sam Pullen 317-236-7400
  • Concord Neighborhood Center Before and after care program for school age children. Teen program starting soon. Now for the Future middle school program for 6th, 7th , and 8th graders; premise is that if you do not father or have a child in middle and high school, program will help you apply to post-secondary opportunities, help with funding and applications (Madison Norris runs the program: 317- 637-4376, extension 2122) For more information contact Lynn Rogers 317-637-4376. 1310 S. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46225
  • Boys and Girls Club– School year fee is still $15, now have a partnership with Anthem- Anthem can now cover $10 of fee for students enrolled with Anthem for the entire school year, ages 6 to 18open from 3 pm to 9 pm (age 13 and up) Monday through Thursday, 5 to 7 on Friday; open from 3 to 7 for kids age 12 and under Food pantry on 3rd Saturday each month- 2 pm until food is gone (usually 4 pm); families need to bring ID but not proof of residence Ages 14 through 18- 300 hour Americorps program over one year in order to earn money for college; students must do 2 hours of service each week.
  • Pleasant Run UCC Church Picnic will take place September 10th in conjunction with Emmanuel UCC at Garfield Park Around 11:30 59 E Pleasant Run Pkwy S Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-787-6339
  • Garfield Park Baptist Church Community Meal is usually held the 4th Saturday of the month Food Pantry meets ever 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 4:30PM – 6:30 PM. 1061 E Southern Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203 317– 784-7068.
  • Kid’s Inc. Every Friday Night from 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM hosts a teen night, this is a safe place for students to get a meal, a word, and have fun with friends Thursday 6:30 PM Boxing $5 1001 E. Palmer St. 317- 917-0451
  • Greater Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church. The church hosts free feedings the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month from 5:00PM – 6:30 PM Opening a Leadership Academy for youth ages 14 – 25 will incorporate; choir, dance, drama, drill team. The goal is to reach 150 young people. 2200 English Ave. 317-636-1931
  • Emmerich Manual vs. TC Howe Football Game and Block Party at Manual. September 22nd

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me (Mrs. Douglas) 317- 217-1979 ext. 146 or you can email me at aparker@emmadonnanms.org. I hope you have a great month!

Making Great Habits For Good Grades

With progress reports coming out the first week of September, it is important that our students are prepared to take on the task of putting their best foot forward on that front. Having the mindset that education is important in middle school will help your child have high educational standards well into high school and even college. I would like to provide you with 10 study secrets of Great Students:

  1. Set Goals— Goals are said to be “dreams with a deadline.” Goals should be specific. Have your child write down their academic goal and look at it daily.
  2. Plan your time. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Have your child set aside time daily to study.
  3. Study Everyday. Practice makes perfect. Your favorite athletes condition every day; students should study every day.
  4. Take notes in class. Teachers almost always tell you what is on a test. Taking and reviewing notes can help your child remember what is taught, and always be prepared.
  5. Review your notes shortly after class. A quick review can help place information in your child’s long term memory.
  6. Make sure you have the tools you need. It is important students show up ready to learn. Textbook, paper, pencil, are usually always necessary.
  7. Check the details, This means proofreading papers, or re-checking answers on a test.
  8. Get ready the night before.
  9. When working in groups, do more than your fair share.
  10. Try these steps for 21 days. After 21 days, routines usually turn into habits.

Sign up for The B.E.A.R.S. Club today!!!

The B.E.A.R.S. Club which stands for Bringing Education Alive Resulting in Success, is a 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative that supports the after school program at Emma Donnan. Our program offers a variety of clubs designed to enhance students academically and personally. Enrichment Clubs include cultural dance, and encouraging physical education through creative games from the SPARK curriculum. Character Education, and the Department of Public Words allow students to express themselves through writing, art, and performance. Service Learning provides students with many opportunities to give service in our community, and learn about diverse cultures.

Additional clubs include chess and scrabble to build critical thinking skills. These board games also produce creative ways for active learning and adapting new life skills. We have also teamed up with the Indianapolis Museum of Art to work with students on creating works of art to display in the museum.

All students that participate in the B.E.A.R.S. Club will receive additional academic support, evening snacks and opportunities to go on field trips to various colleges and universities. This program comes free to our 7th and 8th graders here at Emma Donnan. Sign your scholar up today! Students must have an application on file to participate.

Smile Mobile VisitSmile Mobile Visit

9/14 and 9/15

Must complete application to participate, questions call 317-217-1979.



September begins Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. 

This year, Emma Donnan is planning activities throughout the month to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and Culture. On Thursday, September 28th, we will have our annual Hispanic Heritage Night, in which we will have age appropriate activities that we would love for ALL of our Donnan families to participate in. If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer for this event please feel free to contact Ms. Parker at 317-217-1979.

Attendance and Late Arrivals

One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child’s attendance record may be the biggest factor influencing his/ her academic success. By attending class regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and take quizzes and tests on time. However, we do understand that there are some circumstances beyond your control in which your child will have to be late, or have to miss school. It is important that when these instances occur, you make a daily call to the school to notify administration that your student will be late or absent. We also ask that you do this every day that your child is absent. Please make sure that if your student leaves early, comes in late, or is absent due to a doctors appointment, that you submit a doctor’s note so that the absence can be documented and excused. 

If your child comes to school late, they need to be brought into the school and signed in by a parent. We also need to advise that parents must come in to sign their child out early. If you call ahead, please note that we will not pull any students out of class to wait for theirparent in the front office, so please plan accordingly. Lastly, after 3:00PM, we will NOT pull any student out of class. You will have to wait until the child is dismissed at 3:45PM. Remember that if your child misses 10 days of school they will be referred to Truancy Court. Again, please plan all appointments accordingly. If you have questions about attendance, please feel free to contact us at 317-217- 1979.

Download September 2017 Newsletter pdf.


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